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Full text of "Rapid Population Growth Consequences And Policy Implications"

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that started (in 1875-76) with relatively low birth rates and experienced very modest average annual declines. In central Europe the starting levels were higher and the reductions more rapid (i.e., about 0.4 per year). Southern European countries started later and reached their transition lows only after World War II. Portugal and Spain, in particular, do not fit the general pattern. Eastern European countries started later and from much higher birth rates than western Europe and had more rapid reductions in the birth rate. Because of boundary changes resulting from the World Wars, it is difficult to get strictly comparable historical series, but it is clear that these observations also hold for eastern European areas not included in Table 3.*
There is a major and very important gap between European countries and Japan, and those countries entering the transition later. European countries had all entered the transition by the earlier 1920's. The "new" countries did not begin to enter the transition until after World War II. There was an interval of some 25 years when no major country entered the transition.
Since World War II, there has been a new and quite diverse group entering the transition at high birth rates comparable to those of eastern Europe but showing much more rapid fertility declines, averaging a drop of about one point per year, or three times that experienced in western European countries during their natality transition.t The table is restricted to countries showing continuous reductions in the birth rate since before 1960. Experience of areas apparently entering the transition since 1960 is too brief to form firm judgments, but there is no reason to believe that progress will be slower in these areas. Among constituent republics of the U.S.S.R., for example, there have been major declines since 1960 at different levels in the transition.t
Though there are inconsistencies, notably as regards Spain and Portugal, Table 3 shows strikingly the acceleration in fertility reduction over time. This acceleration holds in two senses: (a) between countries commencing transition at different periods; and (b) within each country. The latter is evidenced by the fact that the linear regressions refer to absolute amounts of change in the birth rate. This means progressively higher rates of natality decline as the transition progresses. In fact, for many countries squared regressions of the form a+bt2 fit the data as well as or better than linear regressions, i.e., in
* Albania is classified in Table 3 as a "new" country rather than eastern European because of its quite different sociocconomic characteristics and demographic behavior.
tCeylon appears to be an exception, but probably only because of a statistical artifact. Birth registration is estimated to have improved from 88 percent completeness in 1953 to 99 percent in 1967. Correction of official figures for this factor would substantially raise the average annual reduction in the birth rate.
i-Birth rates for 1960 and 1967 in representative areas declined as follows: White Russia, 24.5 to 16.8; Moldavian Republic, 29.2 to 20.7; Georgia, 24.7 to 19.3; Armenia, 40.3 to 25; Kazakhstan, 36.7 to 24; the Turkmen Republic, 42.4 to 35.6.
"This point is of importance in judging the impact of family planning programs. The assumption that birth rates would have declined at the same percent as before in the